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L.A. Dodgers to Launch their Own TV Network
On Monday, January 28th, word leaked that the two companies would go into a partnership called American Media Productions, which would control SportsNet LA. The partnership is said to begin in 2014 after the Dodgers' current contract with FOX expires.
The Dodgers and FOX were in negotiations during the final few months of 2012 and agreed on a 6 billion deal; however, they were not able to finalize the negotiations. Hearing how the two companies were not able to reach an agreement, Time Warner Cable jumped at the bait to offer a much better proposal for the Dodgers, skyrocketing the teams annual income from the television industry to a new level.
Currently, FOX is paying the Dodgers roughly 40 million dollars a year to air their games. Time Warner came in with offerings of at least $280 million a year lasting from 20 to 25 years, totaling around $7 billion over the lifetime of the deal.
The Dodgers' chairman Mark Walter said, "last year that the best way to give our fans what they want - more content and more Dodger baseball - was to launch our own network." He went on to confidently mention this new network, along with the transformation of the team and stadium, should help the club bring home a World Championship to Los Angeles.
The Guggenheim Partners, who just recently purchased the Dodgers from Frank McCourt last May for $2.15 billion, is on track to build the club into a championship winning team and major revenue stream for Los Angeles. The network deal with Time Warner Cable, along with the $100 million in renovations currently under construction to all 5 levels of the stadium that has been said to be bringing the 51 year old stadium into the 21st century, are sure to draw some attention to the team.
The new changes have Stan Kasten, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, making confident remarks about possible events to take place as a result from the entire overhaul. He said he is "sure we will be considered" to host an All-Star Game in the near future, which hasn't happened since 1980 in an interview about the changes they are making to the stadium.
The Dodgers' new network deal to create SportsNet LA and the American Media Productions partnership with Time Warner has yet to get finalized and approved by the MLB. If the deal is accepted, the MLB will still have to determine how much of the revenue sharing the Dodgers will have to pay.